Saturday, September 19, 2020

Stanchart bank committed to combating fraud-CEO

Isaac Kgosi, Director General of DIS has called for collaboration and strengthening of networking
initiatives to combat fraud. “Failure to do so will obviously create an opportunity for criminals who will flourish within and exploit the existing cracks much to the detriment of our security”, said Kgosi. Standard Chartered Bank this week gathered its security stakeholders
do discuss its anti fraud initiatives. Financial institutions have become the target of organised
financial crimes, with the aid of some banks’ employees.

These crimes include money laundering, fraud, illegal transfer of funds electronically, forgery
of travelers cheque, credit cards and counterfeiting of banknotes. Kgosi revealed the accrued proceeds from these activities far exceed those of all the street crimes by value. Money laundering accounts to $US 350 billion globally, which leads to job losses and a negative impact on world
economies. The sophistication needed to rob a bank normally needs the involvement of bankers,
lawyers and accountants. “It is also important to note that such activities tend to flourish within some ungoverned spaces where there are weak internal controls (internal audits and operational guidelines)”, observed Kgosi. Some of these loopholes include poorly trained staff, lack of vigilance, violation of laid procedures (wittingly or unwittingly), lack of comprehensive and integrated security plans, poor inter-agency and institutional
collaboration.

In the banking sector, some employees blame computers and say that they were not operational when illegal transactions were committed. Standard Chartered said with the increasing regulatory pace,
its vision is to have compliance internationally and here in Botswana. The bank’s Head of Compliance Rutang Moses revealed that since 2008, they have been tightening loose rivets. She added that because of the global recession, they wanted to protect the money they had because the bank did
not expect to make a lot of money. The bank had to go back to the drawing boards because it was loosing money. In 2007, there were 30 reported cases of fraud with a loss of P6.7 million to the bank.

The loss was reduced to P0.6 million in 2008 with 34 reported cases, while there were 29 cases in 2009 with a loss of P0.09 million. Moses said since the assurance functions started, there has been a t r e m e n d o u s reduction in l o s s e s , although the goal is to have zero tolerance to
fraud. Regulatory compliance has become a big priority in the banking industry with a number of them
r e c r u i t i n g crack detectives from the Serious Crime Squad. Moses said in 2010 they will focus on driving fraud initiatives, prevent money laundering and terrorism financing while equally promoting ‘speak up’ “We are committed to keeping bad people out of the system”, concluded the bank’s Chief Executive Officer David Cutting.

“It is important to collaborate with outside partners to corner bad people”, he added.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.